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In support of Fair Trade Month and to celebrate its expanded Fair Trade Certified banana program, Sam’s Club will offer free samples of Fair Trade Certified bananas today and tomorrow.
In October 2007, the Bentonville, Ark.-based club store division of the world’s largest retailer became the first mass marketer and membership warehouse club in the United States to offer Fair Trade Certified bananas. Since that time, Sam’s Club has expanded its Fair Trade banana program from one to three distribution centers and member purchases of product have generated more than $615,000 in community development funds. Each box of Fair Trade bananas purchased by Sam’s Club members contributes $1 that goes directly to farm workers who decide upon, manage and directly benefit from community development projects.
In addition to life-changing social programs funded through the $1-per-box premium, Sam’s Club’s payment of a fair, above-market price to farmers allows them to pay for the environmental improvements required by Fair Trade standards. Sam’s Club purchases have allowed farmers in Colombia to eliminate over 422,000 gallons of herbicide preparations each year, protect rivers with natural barriers, and eliminate the most toxic pesticides.
Fair Trade Certified Bananas are available in various Sam’s Club locations throughout Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Utah.
In addition to bananas, Sam’s Club also offers Fair Trade Certified coffee, wine and flowers.